This Advice Has Changed My Life

About a week ago, I had a conversation with my mother. I told her that I had been feeling unfulfilled for days.

I believe we share our feelings with people for two reasons: either we just need someone to listen or we hope they will give us a perspective that might change us.

A week ago my mother said this:

“In life, we need to see things as rituals. From the moment we wake up and make our beds to the moment we shut our eyes at night. Make doing the dishes and folding your laundry a ritual even getting dressed in the morning. Make these things sacred to you.”

You know when someone says something to you and you feel sparks? This was one of those moments.

So often we get caught up in worrying about our future or beating ourselves up about the past that we forget to be in the present moment.

We resort to thinking happiness can only be found in large achievements or in the compliments we receive when really we can find it in combing our hair or taking the time to make our beds.

I believe this is why people get addicted to working out. Exercise is a great tool to help us focus. Thats why people call it “being in the zone.” That “zone” is the place where you are truly in the present.

Since you might be wondering, here’s how my life has changed since I received this piece of advice:

I’ve been much more aware and intentional. I find happiness in folding my favorite shirt or in packing my lunch for the day with foods that will nourish my body.

I’ve been less frustrated, anxious, and angry. I will be the first to admit I have terrible road range and can’t stand when people ask me to repeat myself because they didn’t hear what I said. Since I am only here right now, why would I perceive this moment as in my way or annoying when I can see it for what it is and just breathe? There is no real hurry and even if there was, our anxious mental state would not make it any better. Approach situations with a grateful heart.

I’ve added a new ritual. I exercise in the morning. It is now built in my schedule for an hour. It starts my day out with intention and brings me into a focused mindset. I pack my gym clothes the night before and plan my outfit. I lay them side by side so that when I wake up, I am ready to go and I am thankful.

I’m continuing to learn more. Oprah’s Super Soul Podcast has a series right now with Eckart Tolle who preaches about this idea of being in the moment. I highly recommend you take a listen.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know your thoughts.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Cinnamon Roll Cake or Coffee Cake?

What’s your favorite dessert?

If you asked me: Coffee cake. Or cookies. Or chocolate…. Okay I just like dessert.

Am I the only one who finds it funny that people consider coffee cake a breakfast food? I’m thinking because it has coffee in the name. Enough excuse for me to eat a dessert for breakfast!

So, I came across this recipe on Pinterest. I’ve been meaning to make for months: “Cinnamon Roll Cake.”

There are many variations to this recipe, but I chose the pin that had the best picture.

Initial thoughts: SO MUCH BUTTER.

Mid-creation thoughts: This recipe is actually super easy. Although the prep time said it would be 8 minutes, I ended up taking around 15, but it wasn’t labor intensive by any means.

Photos:

Cake Batter

Cake Topping

UH OH: Okay… I prepared this part of the blog before I checked on the cake in the oven. It’s a disaster. The topping is melted into the center and the sides are starting to burn. I swear I followed the recipe. I will check back in in 5 minutes.

5 minutes later: Now I know why the recipe is called cinnamon roll cake. This looks nothing like a coffee cake and most definitely like a cinnamon roll in cake form.

Picture:

Um… why does my stuff never look like the pictures?? 😭

Well, the recipe does call for me to add icing on top.. I don’t think I will though. I just wanted a coffee cake.

The taste: worth it! I came to my kitchen to sample my first piece, and half of the cake was all gone. It is gewey and cakey and cinnamon rolly. Will consider making again but only if I can give it away because I might eat the whole thing.

Have any of you tried cinnamon roll cake before? What do you think?

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Where Do You Belong?

What’s your identity?

Is it defined by the books you read or the clothes you wear? Or maybe the people you surround yourself with?

As much as we hate to admit it, we often struggle with who we are.

I must be a fit person because I work out everyday.. but what if you don’t work out for a month? Would your identity change?

My identity must be defined by my family. What if your family comes from all over? You identify with everyone but at the same time with no one fully.

What if we could choose our identities? If we decided where we belonged and what we spent our time on. If our habits became our identity. If we could shape and change them daily.

How are your perspectives and attitudes shaping your identity?

Thanks for reading.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

If You’re Bad at Remembering History, Read This.

You can teach me about the same war twenty times and a day later I will have already forgotten about it.

Does this sound like you?

Yesterday I was at the airport waiting to board when a woman across from me asked: “so where are you traveling to?” Quite honestly I wasn’t in the mood to chat. I had an early flight that morning and this was my connecting one. Regardless, I told her and we began to chat about our travels. She was around her mid 40s – early 50s. Her shortish golden hair reminded me of my grandmother’s.

After around ten minutes, the plane began to board. Turns out, I was sitting behind her. We talked about how she met her husband on a beach in Spain years ago. She described how they are still madly in love even after having three kids. Although that is nowhere near where my life is at right now, I felt as though we were very similar.

When we got off of the plane, we were going through airport security and she began to tell me about some Dutch history. Before she went any further, I had to tell her: “I’m going to be honest I love history. I think it’s fascinating.. but I never remember it. I’ve seen several castles and battle grounds in Ireland and I couldn’t tell you one fact about them.” She laughed at me. I felt a bit embarrassed. Then she said this:

“I’m bad at remembering history too!”

“Really, so how do you know all of these facts?”

“I read children’s books”

“Do they actually help?”

” Yes, because it’s more important to understand the big picture before trying to remember the small details. I read a children’s book called the history of France before I went there. My friend and I brought the book with us and matched the illustrated pictures to the things we saw while we were there.”

“Where have you been my whole life! Haha”

“Also there’s a lot of movies that can help with that too.”

Our conversation went further, but I had never thought of doing this. Children’s books have to explain things in simple terms. Only once you get something in simple terms can you dive deeper and learn more.

This advice has really and truly changed my life. Time to go buy some children’s books.

Have you tried this before?

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Why You Need to Stop This Mindset

If I lose 20 pounds then I’ll be happy

If I get a promotion then I’ll be successful

If I get this job then I’ll be good enough

If I get 10k followers then I will feel pretty

STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!

Stop placing your worth, happiness, and success in the achievement of something in the future. When we do this, we basically tell ourselves that we cannot be happy until we get these things.

Think back to when you were a child. You’re in a grocery store trying to convince your parents to buy you a toy. You tell yourself that there is no possible way you will be happy unless they agree to buy you the thing. You have already decided that you will throw a fit if you don’t get what you want. This time you’re lucky- your parents agree to buy you it! Now you feel so happy… for a moment…. but it doesn’t last.

How many times have you placed your happiness on getting something that you look back on now and have to laugh? Turns out the American Girl Doll wasn’t the secret to our lasting happiness after all. Just like getting that new designer purse isn’t either.

How happy you are now is likely to determine how happy you will be in the future. It is fine to look forward to something. In fact, it’s totally healthy, but this is different than deciding you won’t be happy until something happens for you.

We aren’t the best at predicting what will happen in the future. Think about it. Who did you want to become when you were younger? What did you think you’d be doing right now 5 years ago? I can speak for myself and say that these are two very different things.

So decide today that you will be happy. Not when you get that new car or those new shoes. This only lasts so long until you are lusting over the next new thing.

Decide to be happy because you have goals and values that guide what you do. Be happy because you are in this moment right now and have made it this far. Be happy to be authentically you. And be happy that you are on a mission to change your life and the lives of others too.

What’s your Life Blueprint?

You can imagine my disbelief when my friend, who is embarking her motivational speaking career, told our friend group that she had never heard of Tony Robbins. Excuse me. What?!

When I was in high school, I discovered Pinterest. This was the beginning of my obsession with motivational quotes which translated into watching motivational videos on YouTube. I remember one of the first motivational speeches I watched on youtube; it was given by Tony Robbins. I remember watching this video and then watching all of his videos and thinking to myself that he truly had life figured out.

Fast-forward a few years and I’m listening to a podcast, called Earn Your Happy, where the hostess, Lori Harder, interviewed someone who was once one of Tony’s interns. Omg I thought. Tony Robbins!

So, the other day I was browsing YouTube jumping around between different TED Talks, and one of the suggested videos was one by Tony Robins that was titled change your life blueprint.

I swear I had seen this video before, but it still resonated with me so much. In Tony’s speech, he explains that the reason why we are unhappy with ourselves is because our vision of what our life should look like doesn’t match what it really is.

We have these ideas of what the perfect relationship is in our minds or the perfect job or our perfect body and we compare this mental vision to our reality. This disconnect makes us feel depressed, unsatisfied, and can cause great amounts of anxiety.

Is this true for you? I know in my life I create ideals of where I should be in my career, what kinds of relationships are in my life, how much money I should have, and what I should look like.

Tony’s resolution? Either change you mental blueprint of what your life should look like or change your life to meet the blueprint. Realize what blueprints in your life are unrealistic and create new ones or alter them so they can match your life.

One person Tony talked about in the speech was an athlete who wasn’t able to play anymore due to physical injuries. This athlete became depressed and hopeless. He said he would never be happy again unless he was able to play the sport again. In his blueprint, the only way he would make his family proud and support them was through playing this sport. It wasn’t until he realized that he could create a new path for himself that he was able to find happiness again. This wasn’t the one and only way he could find success in his life. It was time to create a new blueprint for himself.

Even when we try not to, we are constantly comparing ourselves whether it’s to that vision of what our life should be like or to others. In the end, this comparison rarely does anything for us unless we reflect when we catch ourselves doing it.

I want to end this post with a quote I saw this morning posted by Jhene Aiko:

So, what is your current “life blueprint” what adjustments will need to be made?

Thanks for reading.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Last Day of 2018

This year feels like it did not happen.

2018. The year my life changed.

Those who know me know that I am constantly changing and finding new interests mostly because I’m a naturally curious person but this year was different. I found purpose.

I don’t usually like to write about myself, but here is what happened in 2018:

– I dove deeper into my major and made great relationships with my professors

– I made new friends who continue inspire me

– I created my blog extremely spontaneously and fell in love with it

– I became genuinely happy. Yes there were ups and downs but through bad relationships and experiences I found out how to truly take care of myself

– I became closer to my sister which has been one of the greatest blessings to me

So this is the time of the year where we look back at the year, reflect, then decide on resolutions, right? I keep thinking of the habits I have already implemented and think these “resolutions” are an addition to everything I’ve already added to my life.

So, 2019… I want it to look something like this:

Focus on growth and giving

– Volunteer once a month

– Eat one vegetable a day. Sounds kind of silly I know. Some weeks go by and I’m like when’s the last time I ate a vegetable? So even if it’s just one carrot or even a piece of an avocado this is my goal.

– Read daily. Hard copy. It can be one page but I do need to read more.

– Have a solid morning routine and learn to enjoy working out in the morning. Read, journal, and exercise. I keep hearing that the most productive days are when you get the hardest thing done first.

– Cook more. I am guilty of buying the same foods every time I grocery shop and not making real food. In 2019 I want to learn new recipes and cook one proper meal a week.

– Blog weekly!

-Love more

What’s your resolution?